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Dr Laura Cesaroni -FOUNDER, DIRECTOR

Laura Cesaroni, received her Ph.D from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto. Her area of interest was within Special Education, developmental psychology and assessment. Currently she is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO #002669) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Laura's early training began at the the Clarke institute of Psychiatry and the Hospital for Sick Children as a psychometrist.  She has worked in a number of organizations and had a private practice. Her experience with families and children with learning, attention and developmental challenges spans over 25 years in the field. FERN was inspired by Laura as a way to support more families and children in meaningful ways. She began fund raising for FERN through annual rummage sales from her home in Stouffville. Today FERN has developed into a community group of caring families, children and staff. Laura works as a clinician at FERN. She is compassionate and believes that the supports and services at FERN must come from the ground up- families play a critical role in the development of services. More recently, Laura is training with the Mehrit Centre and Dr.Stuart Shanker, bringing the science of self-regulation to her families and students.  She believes that this is a critical journey and much needed resource for all families. Laura has 2 children and 2 cats. She enjoys Pilates and hiking.

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Tina Cesaroni- Coordinator Programs & Services

Tina is involved in the operation and administration of programs and services at FERN. Having run a successful retail business in the 90s she comes equipped to ensure FERN members and families are well looked after and needs are understood and met. Tina believes in fostering kindness and community at FERN. She actively encourages families to  use FERN as a safe place where respect and empathy can be found for all. Her passion lies in the outdoors and all things green. When not working at FERN you will find her in her garden or helping others find environmentally sound solutions for their garden spaces. Tina is an active member of the Toronto Master Gardeners and consults privately through her company Garden Sensibilities.

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Angela Hay - ACCOUNTING & ADMINISTRATION

Angela is a self-starter who is detailed oriented and conscientious, with over 20 years’ experience in her field. She graduated from the Toronto School of Business in 1984, and went on to work with a large multi-national corporation in the opening of their first Canadian office. After becoming a wife and mother, she needed to find a healthy work-life balance, so she decided to open her private bookkeeping practice in 1996, Hay & Associates Business Services Inc. She has been carrying out all of the bookkeeping responsibilities for FERN since 2012.
When not behind her desk, you can find Angela attempting the daunting task of trying to whip her old/new home and yard into shape. In her spare time, she enjoys canoeing, cooking, singing, home renovating and spending time with her family around the bonfire.  She recently moved to King City with her husband, James, and sons AJ and David.

 

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Dr Mary Konstantareas

Dr. M. Mary Konstantareas, Ph.D. C.Psych was a Professor of Psychology and Professor of Psychiatry from 1988. At the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, she served as Deputy Head for Research in the Department of Psychology, followed by a term as Head of the Autism Clinic and Director of Research of the Child and Family Studies Centre. In 1991 she joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph where she taught courses related to the Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence, Intervention Strategies, and Assessment and Intervention in the Autism Spectrum Disorders. She retired as University Professor Emeritus.

Mary has devoted most of her professional life to children with developmental disabilities and their families. She has conducted research in the use of augmentative communication approaches, particularly the use of signs and speech with the nonverbal children, factors affecting parental stress and coping in families of children with ADS, and etiological factors for the genesis of ASD.

She performs editorial functions for a number of journals, including the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Autism: An International Journal of Research and Practice. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Kerry's Place, the Surrey Place Centre and the Asperger's Society of Ontario, of which she is a founding member.

Mary has published over 80 papers, most on ASD, has co-edited four books, and has presented at national and international conferences.

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Michael Maloney - CURRICULUM ADVISOR; TRAINER

Michael is a former teacher, principal , school psychologist and entrepreneur who left public education to create effective private schools and learning centres. Michael was a pioneer in blending direct instruction with precision teaching and supported FERN in using these techniques. Founder of the Quinte Learning Centre, North America's first private behaviourally-based learning centre in Belleville, Ontario. Mentored by Zig Engelmann & Ogden R. Lindsley, Michael is a Direct Instruction, Precision Teacher practioner, researcher, trainer and supervisor. Author of the best-selling book Teach Your Children Well and recipient of Canada's National Literacy Educator Award (2001). For more information please CLICK HERE: FILL THE GAP .

 

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Dr. Richard Kercz, Ed.D

Richard is an organizational psychology and leadership advisor to executives and entrepreneurial business leaders. He provides counsel and strategic support on the identification, selection, development and coaching of individual, team, management, executive and organizational potential.  He has consulted and facilitated on every facet of executive talent assessment and management and has created customized programs to improve individual, team and organizational performance. His latest venture is www.projectrelaxation.com a web-based, self-coaching portal that is dedicated to helping people learn to enjoy less stress in every aspect of their lives through the art and science of learning relaxation skills. When not working, he can be found somewhere on his property enjoying being outside and most likely re-building, re-designing or renovating something.

 

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Tony Maio - C.A.

Tony graduated from the Ryerson University Bachelor of Commerce program, with major in accounting and minor in finance. He went on to article at a medium sized accounting firm in Toronto, where most of his time was spent on servicing the needs of clients, ranging from small owner managed companies to large corporate entities. He gained extensive accounting, auditing, taxation and business advisory experience over the 8 years of public practice. In his own private practice located in Vaughan, he now services a variety of industries including; construction, manufacturing, not for profit, retail, and numerous small family run businesses. He has been the accountant for FERN since 2015.

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Karen Stern

Karen is delighted to join the FERN team as a Special Education Teacher. In addition to being a certified teacher, Expressive Arts therapist and performer, she has been supporting children who have complex cognitive and physical challenges for approximately twenty years.  Karen received her BA and BFA from York University, as well as a BEd from Niagara University, earning an Honors with Distinction. She has spent extensive time as a Behavioural Therapist at learning centres as well as engaging in private work with a range of clients. Her time as an educator and art therapist in classrooms has given her the opportunity to learn from a variety of communities, age groups and needs. Karen is especially inspired by the work she has done with students with ASD. Her empathetic and genuine approach have become the core of her practice, providing students with the hope to see the endless possibilities in their paths. When not working, some of her passions include baking, singing and improv comedy. Karen is excited to bring her creativity and dedication to the students at FERN.

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Stafani Morrasut

Stafani graduated from Western University with a degree in Health Sciences and from George Brown College with a postgraduate honours diploma in Autism and Behavioural Sciences. She is an Instructor Therapist at FERN, as well as providing in-home tutoring for many FERN families. As a FILL THE GAP instructor, Stafani  is instrumental in helping the children reach their full academic potential. She recognizes the challenges her students face in their school curriculum and is an advocate for the Direct Instruction (DI) programs offered at FERN.  Stafani has witnessed the success of her students.  Stafani is an enthusiastic, self driven individual who continues to strive to gain more knowledge and experience within the field. In her spare time, Stafani enjoys travelling and going to concerts.

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Alida Colarossi-Lio

Alida has Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a diploma in Behavioural Sciences and years of volunteer experience in educational settings. She joined FERN in 2015 as a Seneca College placement student.  Her dedication to the field began when her own child was diagnosed with a learning disability.   She hopes that a blending of her experiences and a passion for art, engages and inspires others.

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Annissa Lall

Annissa is an Early Childhood Educator since 1997 and a Fitness Instructor Specialist since 2011. She began teaching Zumba Kids, a program that builds dance and fitness routines with fun games and high energy music. UGI is another program that Annissa is passionate about. It combines strength, cardio and core training. Annissa joins the FERN after school program happy with Music, Movement & Breathing this Fall 2016.

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Christina Demunda

Christina is in her final year of studies at the CREATE Institute for Expressive Arts Therapy education (2017). The EXAT approach is client-focused, and engages in art that focuses on low-skill and high sensitivity. This allows the client to go at a pace that feels comfortable for them, giving space for a meaningful therapeutic relationship. Christina also holds a degree in Theatre and Performance from York University (2013). She is also a drama instructor at Blue Heron Books Studio in Uxbridge, Ontario. Christina has experience facilitating a wide variety of therapeutic programs that engage with the arts (i.e. movement, visual arts, clay, poetry, and music). She feels honoured to be granted the opportunity to cofacilitate the “Building Relationships” after-school community group, and is ready to create, share, and explore.

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Laura D'Avino -FERN Parent Advocate

Laura comes very prepared to join the FERN TEAM. She has obtained a number of courses and attended numerous workshops in her pursuit of learning, including: the Autism interventionist training, multiple workshops on autism through the Geneva Center, Handwriting without Tears, Basic Sign Language and mentoring on  floor-time approach with an SLP.

She started a fast fingers plays the piano and social group for the City of Vaughan. As a qualified piano teacher, Laura offers adapted piano lessons for adults and children on the autism spectrum. She is pleased to be sharing her expertise, experience and understanding of Special Education practices with others while attending IEPs and IPRCs meetings. She is very pleased to be supporting FERN families.

It's no surprise that Laura was nominated  the YES I CAN PARENT AWARD in  York Region.

 

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Kay Goodnough- FERN PARENT LIAISON

Kay is the Parent Liaison for FERN. She has been part of the FERN community for over two years and has experienced first hand the results of a number of the programs FERN has to offer.  Kay is excited to begin this new growth initiative with FERN and looks forward to collaborating with FERN families. Kay has 2 children Ella and Jordan and 2 Labrador retrievers Whiskey and Molly.

 

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COMMUNITY PARTNERS

FERN's Community Partners are like minded professional in education, special education and behavioural psychology. They are committed to supporting FERN and its initiatives.

Kid Mechanix, Inc.

Shayna Gaunt, MA, BCBA
Founder & Director
Website: http://www.kidmechanix.com
Email: shayna@kidmechanix.com
Phone: 416-899-0225

 

John Cooper Learning Centre

Making Small Talk

Linda Hurren, Founder & Director
Website: www.makingsmalltalk.com
Email: info@makingsmalltalk.com